Apr 10 2014

NECSS 2014

I will be at NECSS this weekend – the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, in New York City. This is an excellent conference full of science and critical thinking lectures and panels. My podcast, the SGU, will be recording a live show on stage Saturday.

I will also be running two 1-hour workshops on critical thinking on Friday. I will be moderating a panel debate on GMO which should be very exciting. Finally I will be on a neuroscience panel talking about the uses and abuses of neuroscience.

Our keynote this year is Lawrence Krauss. You can see the full line up of speakers at www.necss.org.

Online registration will remain open today (Thursday), and onsite registrations are welcome. You can register for one day or the entire weekend. There is also a comedy show Friday night, stimulus response, in which, apparently, I will be skewered by a professional improv comedy group. (They did my brother Jay last year and it was hilarious – so he made sure I got payback this year.)

Please come up and say hi if you will be at NECSS. Also, the SGU will have a swag table so you can stop by there as well.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “NECSS 2014”

  1. ccbowerson 10 Apr 2014 at 9:52 am

    I went to NECSS in 2012 and will be going again this year. It really is a good conference, and definitely worth going to if you are in the Northeastern US.

  2. locutusbrgon 10 Apr 2014 at 10:28 am

    I can make it this year my first:)
    so I am look forward to your public evisceration Friday night. I think I signed up for one or your Friday sessions I am following track 2. Anyways, will see you around, buy some swag etc. Looking forward to it.
    I want to get my Paul Offit book signed if I can.

  3. Bruceon 10 Apr 2014 at 10:41 am

    We need a NECSS UK…

  4. Johnnyon 10 Apr 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Will any of this be taped and uploaded?

    Also, are your two critical thinking workshops the same or part of a series?

  5. Steven Novellaon 10 Apr 2014 at 1:23 pm

    The two workshops will be part of a series. They each will be fantastic alone, but the second one will also continue from the first without any overlap.

  6. ccbowerson 10 Apr 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I will also be going to the SGU private show. I also signed up in 2012, but they canceled by ticket due to overbooking, apparently.

    I am going solo since 2 people I know had to cancel their trip due to work.

    locutusbrg – It would be nice to meet someone who frequents this blog. I have not met anyone here (except for Steve back in 2012 NECSS)

    I do wonder what some of the commenters here look like. I assume that everone creates a mental image of others, taking into account their writing, their name/username, and little facts they have acquired over time. I’m sure that such images are way, way off.

    Like… would I be able to tell BJ7 from Sonic just be looking at ’em?

  7. Mution 11 Apr 2014 at 12:32 am

    +1 for interest in recordings (audio or video), and would purchase if available.

  8. etatroon 12 Apr 2014 at 12:16 am

    Sonic has blue, spiky hair. Easy peasy.

  9. Mlemaon 12 Apr 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I don’t believe that Marty Mesh vs. Kevin Folta is much of a GMO debate. At least not the science of GMO. It will perhaps be a good debate on the industries of organic vs. non-organic.

    I’m curious too about why skeptics would be interested in a “debate” on GMOs. The facts are the facts, aren’t they? and I doubt you will hear much of that from either party.

  10. rezistnzisfutlon 12 Apr 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I don’t believe that Marty Mesh vs. Kevin Folta is much of a GMO debate. At least not the science of GMO. It will perhaps be a good debate on the industries of organic vs. non-organic.

    What makes you think there will be no science involved? Generally, pro vs. anti debates ARE science vs. misinformation debates, where the science falls squarely on the pro side and the misinformation on the anti side. Framing a GMO debate around organic isn’t a GMO debate, now is it? I’d like to see your rationale on this. It’s understood that anti’s do like to promote organic as the default alternative to GMOs, which is, in reality, a false dilemma. However, considering that organic is for the most part non-GMO, anti’s are the ones who bring it up.

    I’m curious too about why skeptics would be interested in a “debate” on GMOs. The facts are the facts, aren’t they?

    It’s so ironic how the ideologically inclined activists make statements where they are apparently unaware of the irony they are proposing, which was apparent back on the conspiracy theory thread when you were speaking about conspiracy theorists as if they were an entity exclusive of yourself. Anyway, the reason why GMOs would come up as a topic for skeptics is that it’s a prime example of how faulty and fallacious thinking so often informs and pervades society. It would be no different than choosing, say, creationism to discuss in relation to evolution, or climate change. Furthermore, there is clearly a great need to continue to correct the constant stream of misinformation propagated by anti-GMO activists, to better prepare skeptics. Furthermore, it’s at the core of skepticism to base conclusions on the best information possible, which means attaining the best evidence possible – considering the glut of misinformation, it’s in the best interest of any skeptic to get as much accurate, reliable, and high quality information as possible.

  11. Johnnyon 13 Apr 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Looked at the Twitter account of NECSS, I sure hope the output comes online eventually.

  12. Mlemaon 14 Apr 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Rez, once again, you misinterpret my comments. And for some reason unknown to me, you wish to paint me as anti-GMO. I understand that for YOU, the facts are NOT the facts – so i can understand your interest in a “GMO debate”. However, if you hope to thereby learn “…to get as much accurate, reliable, and high quality information as possible.” you don’t make a good case for Marty Mesh v. Kevin Folta as a “science of GMO” debate. And again, you don’t explain how GMO science is open to debate.

    You are a reliable source on how to debate GMOs without resorting to facts.

  13. ccbowerson 14 Apr 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I was at the “debate” and it was a bit of a disappointment. Marty Mesh was out of league, in terms of having relevant GMO related arguments. It is clear that he is not skilled in debate, but that was not the main problem – he is not knowledgeable when it comes to the science of GMO (he admitted this several times during the debate). So, if he does not feel knowledgeable enough about the science of GMO technology to discuss those points- why was he there to debate the topic then?

    His main initial points were anticorporate ones, pointing to the problems of large corporations. There are legitimate concerns with a market dominated by a few large corporations, of course, but this is not specific to GMO technology and is a peripheral topic. His other main point was the “not enough long term evidence” argument. Yet when pressed to give some idea of what evidence would be sufficient, or how he would handle GMO technology, he had zero ideas to put forth, and referenced that he was ‘not a scientist’ nor regulator. With that in mind, why is he so opinionate on the topic?

    Overall, it was a friendly and reasonable discussion, but a good debate it was not. I really wanted to see a rigorous debate, but this was very one-sided (it did get a little better after the initial arguments, which Mesh rushed through staring at his notes). I give Marty Mesh credit for showing up and he was friendly, but thats about all I can say that is positive for him.

    BTW, Johnny -there was a camera, and there was a note saying that videos will be posted to Youtube at some point. I don’t know any details beyond that.

    NECSS was very good overall, but the GMO one wasn’t among my favorites. It is a great topic, so they definitely should revisit the topic with a larger panel perhaps.

  14. Mlemaon 16 Apr 2014 at 9:38 am

    ccbowers, I appreciate you sharing your take on the debate.

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